If you have ever read any of my articles involving activities with my children, you will probably be aware that I am a huge fan of backyard science. I love all the things that you can find in a backyard and there are a thousand and one things that you can find in a yard. To me, a garden is a place that is alive, not just with flowers and plants but many different little animals that make it their home.
I am always promoting the need for backyard habitats. Inviting animals into the yard not only provides you with many picturesque scenes but also provides you with biological pest control. In this article, I am going to look at ways to invite animals into your yard and the benefits that those animals will bring.
The Bat Box
Okay, I’m just going to start with this right away. When most people think of bats, they often think about how icky they can be, yes I said icky. Now, I’m not a big fan of bats in my house, of which I just had to dispose of two in my basement, but I am a big fan of bats in my backyard.
You may not realize it but bats in your backyard are a valuable pest control that will ensure that your garden is free of many pests like aphids, craneflies, and cutworm moths. In addition, bats will remove most of the mosquitoes in your backyard, which leaves you to enjoy your evenings outside.
When you make a bat box, you want to mount it on a high post at the farthest corner of your yard. Make sure that it is away from high traffic areas and also away from running water. Once it is up, all you have to do is sit back and wait. Eventually, a bat will find it and set up shop and once you have one, it won’t be long before you have a colony munching up those pests in your backyard.
The Bird House
Everyone loves having birds in their backyard and they have become the eternal symbol of a peaceful garden. It is important to invite birds into your garden by using plants that provide habitats and by also adding a few man-made birdhouses in the yard. Make sure that when you set up birdhouses that you keep them out of the reach of any marauding cats, whether you own a cat or not. Also, make sure that you provide them with a few bird feeders and a birdbath to draw a variety of birds into your yard.
Birds, like bats, enjoy eating aphids and they will also help out by picking off grubs, slugs, snails, and caterpillars.
The Backyard Pond
Not everyone is going to have a backyard pond but if you have a space for a pond and wouldn’t mind having one, then this is a great feature for any garden. Although it may not seem like it, a backyard pond can be a wonderful habitat for a variety of animals that will enjoy riding your garden of small bugs. Most backyard ponds can become an oasis for frogs, toads, and other lizards, which will feed on slugs and other garden pests.
The last point that I want to mention when I discuss biological pest controls is to allow other creepy crawlies to reside in your yard. Spiders are an excellent creature to have in your yard and if you see a spider or a spiderweb in an area where it does not interfere with you don’t destroy it, so for instance a spider web across your patio set would have to go. Another great insect to have in your yard is wasps, although most people don’t feel that way. Again, if you see a wasp, let it be unless it has a nest where it would interfere with you.
Lastly, and I hate to say this because I hate, and I mean hate, them, is to let any centipedes go when you see them in your garden. They are great little helpers and will eat a variety of insects and beetles that are eating all of your plants.
Once you have all these little oases in your backyard, you will find that you will have many backyard helpers that are more than happy to rid your garden of damaging insects.